Members' verdict: Top 5 favourites Tories to replace Theresa May

A new Conservative Home survey reveals who members want to replace Theresa May when the time comes for her to depart.

The survey comes as a YouGov poll suggests that a plurality of Brits want Theresa May to stay in the country's top job following weeks of talk of her possibly leaving her post, as reported by the Sun.

The Conservative Home survey is good news for Brexiteers, with the top three all being original Brexit-backers.

Here are the top five.

5th – Dominic Raab

Raab comes just ahead of Jeremy Hunt and David Davis, but is still only supported by 5% of survey respondents. Raab is often described as a rising star in the party, and currently serves as a housing and planning minister following a switch from the justice department in January’s mini-reshuffle.

Has Raab got what it takes to rise to the top?

David Davis Headshot

4th – Amber Rudd

Rudd has a significantly larger profile than Rabb, but is only backed by 6% of Conservative members in the survey. She is a charismatic individual with plenty of leadership potential, but as she is often seen as a close ally of the prime minister, MPs and members might be cautious when it comes to a possible Rudd leadership bid.

Amber Rudd


3rd – Boris Johnson

It was not long ago that the now foreign secretary looked set to take the Tory crown from David Cameron, but Michael Gove saw an end to that. However, with May struggling, could the Conservatives give Boris Johnson a second chance? He certainly has the ambition to lead, but controversies from his time in the foreign office could hinder his odds.

Nonetheless, 14% of surveyed members think that Johnson should step up if May departs.

Boris Johnson chairing meeting

2nd – Michael Gove

Gove’s leadership prospects ended last time when he was defeated in the third round. His decision to run shocked the Westminster bubble, but resulted in an anti-climactic defeat, as he lost to Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. However, Gove’s political stock has risen in the past year. As Environment Secretary, he has renewed his image, giving the impression that he is an animal and environmental champion, which could help appeal to Britain’s young voters. At the same time, he remains committed to Brexit. Could Michael Gove really be Britain’s next prime minister?

16% think so.

Michael Gove Pondering

1st – Jacob Rees-Mogg

Despite his out of date views and his sheer controversial nature, this back-bencher is backed by 21% of members surveyed. Rees-Mogg has been the betting markets’ favourite to take over from Theresa May since the summer and this survey and others before it confirms his popularity. But could Rees-Mogg really become prime minister? With a canny bit of political manoeuvring, anything is possible.

But is this?

Watch this space.